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Old 05-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #16
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CFL's are a waste of money


Someone from Canada reported that due to hydo power they recommended that incandescents should be used in the winter to assist in heating if you normally heat with gas or fuel oil
Since the hydro does not cause any pollution

I used to heat my room with (2) 100w bulbs & my stereo as a kid
Old man kept the temp turned very low

I still have plenty of incandescents in a cabinet in the basement
In case I need them

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:54 AM   #17
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CFL's are a waste of money


Coupla points/questions.

Seems there is an underlying notion here (that I'm clueless on) that says "cycling" of CFL's is more problematic or less effective than with incandescents. Meaning...rather than turn a CFL off and on during some fixed period of time one might be better off leaving it on the whole time whereas an incandescent during that same amount of time one would be better turning off and on as needed...ie. cycling??????????

Second...this notion of "relying on" light bulbs for heat seems crazy to me. (Or conversely using the notion of loss of heat from switching from an incandescent to CFL as a reason not to use CFL.) You can't just look at BTUs...you have to also look at cost per BTU...and I don't have data to back this up but I suspect the cost per btu is orders of magnitude higher with a light bulb vs. your furnace. There's a reason we don't use light bulbs as primary sources of heat in our homes!!!! Sure they give off heat...but that's just an inefficient byproduct of the lighting process.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:20 AM   #18
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CFL's are a waste of money


Quote:
Originally Posted by piste View Post
There's a reason we don't use light bulbs as primary sources of heat in our homes!!!!
Yes, it's the cost per therm of NG, oil and heat pumps vs. the cost per therm of elec.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #19
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by piste View Post
There's a reason we don't use light bulbs as primary sources of heat in our homes!!!! Sure they give off heat...but that's just an inefficient byproduct of the lighting process.
The visible light is converted to heat once it hits an object. So in a theoretical house with no windows, a light bulb is as efficient a heat source as an electric space heater.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #20
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by operagost View Post
The visible light is converted to heat once it hits an object. So in a theoretical house with no windows, a light bulb is as efficient a heat source as an electric space heater.
Hmmm...I'm kinda rusty on my engineering studies from 30 years ago....but lets give it a go anyway. In an incandescent bulb...electrons are passed through a filament for the purpose of generating light. The technology involved also generates heat as an unintended byproduct. ie. the original design of the incandescent bulb was to generate light, not heat. That heat is given off into the surrounding air by the filament...light is not "converted to heat once it hits an object"....unless of course you are calling ambient air an object......

If we refer to the efficiency of something as the amount of heat it generates per unit of electricity consumed...I have no idea whether or not a light bulb and space heater are equally efficient but I sure hope a space heater...designed with the primary purpose of generating heat....would be at least SOMEWHAT more efficient at heating than a light bulb which was not at all designed with the objective to generate heat.

Yoyizit,
Yeah basically. But more specifically it's the cost per therm of OUTPUT using NG, oil, electricity, etc AS CONSUMED by devices designed to heat a home...VS. the cost per therm by using electicity AS CONSUMED by a light bulb. Meaning...the cost per therm of an electric heat pump is hopefully cheaper than the cost per therm of a (electric) light bulb.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:49 PM   #21
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CFL's are a waste of money


What about disposing of the CFLs? They do contain mercury. They are not supposed to go in a landfill. And we use a regular light bulb as heat for my son's lizard. You can't use a heat rock for his lizard. Don't know what to do when we can't buy them anymore.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #22
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CFL's are a waste of money


How much energy do cfls really save?

I tried cfls a couple years ago and it was a waste of money. I didn't realize that they couldn't be used in closed fixtures so I now have a box full of very expensive bulbs that can only be used on two basement lights. They cast such a weird shadowy light that I will probably never use them. (I like a nice bright light when taking measurements, painting or using power tools...)

On a side note, here in NH the local electric company recently requested a rate increase because residential customers aren't using as much power. I tend to think that it has more to do with old appliances breaking down and people replacing them with new, energy efficient ones, but who knows. Maybe cfls are single handedly destroying PSNH's bottom line.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #23
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by Jim F View Post
There is an 18 story state office building in Binghamton NY where I grew up that relied on the heat from the incandescents as part of the heating system. Everybody thought they were wasting electricity because it would be lit up overnight during closed hours especially in the winter months but it was a necessity.
Hm, I learned something. (I'm in Endicott)
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:22 PM   #24
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by piste View Post
the cost per therm of an electric heat pump is hopefully cheaper than the cost per therm of a (electric) light bulb.
Yes, about by 3x, the COP.

Elec. energy goes into a light bulb or some other thing. 100% of the energy comes out as heat, motion, noise or electromagnetic energy [inclu. UV, IR and visible light].
You could define efficiency as power in vs. useful power out, i.e., useful to you.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #25
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
What about disposing of the CFLs? They do contain mercury. They are not supposed to go in a landfill
If used for any length of time CFL's end up putting less mercury into the environment, This based on the average electric generation process which allows mercury to enter the environment

Quote:
Originally Posted by idealady View Post
How much energy do cfls really save?
I didn't realize that they couldn't be used in closed fixtures so I now have a box full of very expensive bulbs that can only be used on two basement lights. They cast such a weird shadowy light that I will probably never use them. (I like a nice bright light when taking measurements, painting or using power tools...)

On a side note, here in NH the local electric company recently requested a rate increase because residential customers aren't using as much power. I tend to think that it has more to do with old appliances breaking down and people replacing them with new, energy efficient ones, but who knows. Maybe cfls are single handedly destroying PSNH's bottom line.
CFL's can be used in an closed fixture, not sure what you mean
They create less heat then a normal bulb
CFL's come in different light "colors" - K
I now use the higher 6500L bulbs which give a better light
In addition where I used to use 40w incandescents I now use the 60w CFL equivelent

http://www.diychatroom.com/f98/cfl-b...r-light-53115/

Yeah, don't you like as we use less power the rates go up ?
On a side note the Yankee Nuke reactor has been voted to close in 2012
So that may cause more rate increases
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:34 PM   #26
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CFL's are a waste of money


Just like incandescent bulbs...much of this thread is generating more heat than light!! Sorry...couldn't help that.

So I checked one of the few sources I personally trust..Consumer Reports. They claim CFLs use far less energy and last much longer than incandescent bulbs and by their calculations have potential to save $56 over the life of each CFL. Tests included very high cycling. I have no reason to doubt them. Of course that does not include rate adjustments by any "for profit" utility company.

My personal though somewhat limited experience with CFLs has been positive overall...have little kids who only know how to turn lights on...not off!!

The mercury issue is somewhat of a red herring...no CFLs should not go in landfills...not a HUGE deal if they DO given amt of mercury in them...but easy answer...just recycle..Home Depot and other places accomodate that.

Lastly...IIRC....the gov't intends to mandate use of CFLs...maybe not real soon but in my lifetime...which I hope does not preclude availability of speciality incandescents for specialty purposes like cold lizards!!!
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:13 PM   #27
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CFL's are a waste of money


Incandescents are not being "outlawed", at least not in the US
Some countries have put a ban into effect, or one will go into effect
Bulbs are required to be 30% more efficient over the next few years
Starting in 2012 (100w bulb) thru 2014 (40w bulb)
Some bulbs will still be available & unaffected by the changes, less then 40w or greater then 150w

http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-b...i=&p_topview=1

Quote:
Also exempt are several classes of speciality lights, including appliance lamps, "rough service" bulbs, 3-way, colored lamps, and plant lights
Phillips already has a more energy efficient bulb out which meets the new guidelines, but its expensive

GE canned thier new energy efficient incandescents

The real target is to force people towards LED's in the long run
And possibly newer Technology
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:43 PM   #28
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CFL's are a waste of money


A former landlord of mine used a floodlight, 100-150 watt range to heat the insulated pumphouse after the pump froze. He seemed to think it was more cost effective and safe than using a space heater but I'm sure he was factoring in the cost of a space heater.

One disadvantage I have found with the CFL's is the time it takes for them to come up to temp and full brightness especially outdoor porch lights in winter.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:16 PM   #29
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CFL's are a waste of money


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Originally Posted by piste View Post
I sure hope a space heater...designed with the primary purpose of generating heat....would be at least SOMEWHAT more efficient at heating than a light bulb which was not at all designed with the objective to generate heat.
There is the Law of Conservation of Energy. Energy does not evaporate. All the energy that comes out of the wall outlet goes somewhere. In a space-heater, all the energy is converted to heat, regardless of how well it is designed. In a light bulb, CFL, halogen , or otherwise, other than the light that goes out the window, all the energy it consumes get converted to heat ( most of it directly at the bulb, the rest is converted to heat when the light is absorbed by walls, etc. )

I read an article on that Canadian report, and as I understand it, they were not suggesting we heat our homes with light bulbs in the winter. Their study had found that household energy savings from using CFLs were frequently less than estimated. They suggested that this is because, during the heating season, virtually all the energy saved by switching to CFLs, has to be made up for running the furnace longer.
In a climate with long heating seasons, the economics of switching to CFLs is not as good.

Now what was the OP asking about anyways ??? ....... Oh yeah, why don't CFLs last as long in a bathroom ? I don't know.

Last edited by SPS-1; 05-11-2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:01 PM   #30
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CFL's are a waste of money


Quote:
Originally Posted by operagost View Post
I've heard others complain about short CFL life spans in bathrooms. It could be due to the more frequent cycling, but bathrooms also have high humidity and sometimes recessed fixtures. I have replaced the two 50W floods in my 1/2 bath with standard 13W CFLs (without the reflector, they still provide about the same light) and they are still working after about nine months. If they fail soon, then we'll know it's not just the humidity as there is no shower in this room.

I have the first CFL I ever bought-- a Sylvania-- still operating in a lamp that gets daily use and was probably in use for about 4-8 hours a day when I was in an apartment. It must be three years old now, so conventional use isn't a problem.

By the way: GEs have been giving me problems. I had one DOA and I have a 3-way that likes to periodically loosen itself from its socket. More reason to avoid GE.
That was my first thought, too. Due to the high levels of humidity, they fail prematurely. Same goes for outdoors and extreme cold. But in the normal temperature range they operate wonderfully and for a long time. I have one CFL that is more than four Years old.!

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